“Used Saab parts keep Saab 9000 on the road”*
One fine summer evening I was driving my lovely old Saab 9000 home from work, when a… (or whatever you would call him in the circumstances) drove straight out of a side road without looking. Fortunately no one was hurt.
My nearside front wing, plus the headlight, and front indicator weren’t in good shape though. Although it was confirmed that there was no major structural damage, and despite the car being regularly serviced and well maintained, the relative cost of new parts to the low market value of a fairly venerable car resulted in my insurance company notionally writing the car off.
I was stricken at such short sighted waste! After a few phone calls a friend took me to a scrap yard about twenty miles away, where I bought a recycled headlight unit for a small sum. A second hand nearside wing was more elusive at the time, so my crumpled wing was hammered out into a serviceable, though cosmetically questionable shape. The insurance bean counters shrugged their shoulders, and I was on the road again.
I went on to drive my reliable and loved car for three more years, when more fundamental engine problems finally overcame sentiment, and I replaced it. Sadly, shortly before Saab Automobile went bankrupt, my health deteriorated to a point I was no longer able to drive, and my Saab days were over.
Thankfully this scenario is becoming increasingly less likely. Partly because a better balance of legislation and economic drivers gives manufacturers an incentive to maintain their existing cars, and partly general public support for recycling in all areas of life. A throwaway culture is no longer acceptable.
This is a great illustration of the many advantages of used car parts from scrap yards:
- They’re a great place to find parts for out of production models.
- They offer great value for money.
- They can help keep a viable vehicle [but insurance write-off] on the road.
- The manufacturer no longer exists so the supply chain for spare parts will be threatened.
It was a good effort ringing round the scrap yards and then driving out to get the some of the parts needed. The search for replacement parts could have been improved on by using 1stChoice’s online parts finder service:
- The request for parts would have been put to 270 breakers yards, no need to ring round.
- A replacement wing may have been located because of the widened search area.
- No need to restrict yourself to a local scrap yard as you can exchange all the relevant details online, including images.
- Efficient delivery systems mean that you don’t have to drive to collect the parts [difficult if your car is off the road!].
- It would have been interesting to see if replacement engine could have been found three years later. It is probable that it could have been looking at the latest requests on the Saab 9000 engine page.
*Based on the experiences of essay competition entrant Sara Hughes.